Saturday, June 11, 2005

the smiths

I saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith last night. I enjoyed it quite a bit, in contradistinction to the consensus of the cinemacritiscenti. If you go see it, let me know: is it just me, or do Angelina Jolie's lips appear to inflate and deflate across the different scenes of the movie? In some scenes, it seemed like her lips had inflated to the point where they occupied roughly one-third of the frontal surface area of her face. At which points I had two thoughts: "This is supposed to be sexy?" and "Even so, I could see a man reasoning, 'Anything to get me away from Jennifer Aniston.'"

As you presumably know even if you haven't seen the movie, M&MS a romantic-action-comedy about the professional murder industry. In general, Hollywood dramatically overestimates the number and incomes of hitpersons, but I've never seen a film that projects as grandiose a view of how much money there is in contract homicide than M&MS. In terms of the resources at the disposal of the two companies at the center of the movie, my estimation would be that it takes it to be roughly a $3-5 billion dollar per year industry.

Seriously, while I am not presently looking to change occupations myself, I have wondered how many people there are out there whose principal source of income derives from professional killing. For that matter, I wonder how many homicides-by-hire there are per year, how much money is spent per year on it, and how much money is spent hiring people would are "professionals" versus hiring, e.g., some local career criminal who seems like he would be affable enough to the idea of killing somebody for pay. I guess I wouldn't be surprised if "professional hitmen" were sort of like "satanic ritual abuse cults" in terms of their reputed vs. actual existence.

A former girlfriend of mine, incidentally, had a great-uncle who was arrested for hiring a local ne'er-do-well to kill his wife (whereupon the ne'er-do-well, being the unreliable and untrustworthy sort he was, went straight to police). The great-uncle was in his seventies when this happened, and it wasn't clear whether the affair wasn't a particularly ugly manifestation of the onset of some kind of senility.

11 comments:

A+ said...

I'm sure you're right that something along the lines of "To Die For" is more accurate than "Mr. & Mts. Smith." But for my money, no hitman movie is better than "Grosse Pointe Blank."

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Haha, yeah, I love Grosse Pointe Blank.

However, I think your anecdote (and To Die For) demonstrate pretty well that hiring some local ne'erdowell has its risks, which one assumes would be less pressing with a real contract killer. On the other hand, one assumes that the real contract killers want to be sure you're good for it, too, so maybe it's the kind of industry that can only be accessed if you're in a particular kind of organization, like the Mob or the CIA. Or at least have someone vouching for you.

sep said...

so now i have confirmation that you are indeed stalking me. as I saw the same movie on the same night I can attest to the fact that the "lips" (are they really just lips?) did in fact enlarge and contract throughout the movie. i'm also pretty sure that the guy in the projection booth had something to do with this...

Nike Conspiracy said...

Angelina Jolie is just a shill for the adidas athleticwear company. When there shoe division wasn't doing so well, adidas took the technology from their best-selling model, the Pump, and installed it in Jolie's face. Just as basketball players would pump their shoes to give themselves an extra boost before important plays, Jolie pumps up her lips before major action sequences. Thus, the differences you observed in the film.

Tom Bozzo said...

1. Yet you disliked "Go." Go figure.

2. When you go to the East Coast, there are some unsavory lines of business (and savory ones, like running a pizzeria) you could try to enter that would give you some indirect evidence as to the extent of murder-for-hire employment.

Tom Reebok said...

Wasn't the Pump from Reebok?

Anonymous said...

What is that 'scare' from TB all about? Unsavory line of business, indeed. Care to enlighten us on your personal experiences, T?

East Coast

Tom Bozzo said...

Anon: I was not referring to any specific personal experience, but was thinking of the "Pizza Connection" case of the mid-eighties, in which the Sicilian mob used neighborhood pizza joints in the mid-Atlantic and elsewhere as a front for a massive drug distribution operation.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Jeremy, but somehow I feel he should not fear the 'East Coast'. I don't think he'll find too many musing openly about size of celebs' lips where he's going. Though there's the Hasty Pudding Club yearly events -- a female and male movie star each get a little brass pot award and a parade through the square. But you probably already know all this. No red carpets though,,,,

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Okay, now I've seen the movie, but I didn't notice anything about Angelina's lips. Sorry. She does seem to be getting hotter and hotter with time, though.

I can only assume they were setting up for a sequel there at the end, since I see no reason that an industry that WOULD spend as much as it did trying to kill Brad and Angelina would then STOP after the department store incident.

jeremy said...

It depends on how many people the organization employs. I mean, if the companies actually don't have any more career employees than your average Fortune 500 firm, I think that by the end they had been all killed off, sort of like the way Sylvester Stallone killed off a tenth of the Soviet army in Rambo III.